“My feel drives Stephen nuts – he’d rather have a traditional metal bass player who uses a pick and follows his every move. Instead, I counter his every move”: Chi Cheng on his final Deftones album – which took almost three years to complete

Photo of DEFTONES, Performing live on stage
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Every now and then, you get a band which genuinely defies expectations. Sacramento outfit Deftones are one of this elite, formed in 1988 and emerging from the almost wholly regrettable nu-metal sound of the mid to late-'90s with a deeper, immensely textural approach of their own.

Long-term readers of Bass Player will know that Deftones' original bassist Chi Cheng was left in a coma after a car accident in 2008. Cheng never emerged from his coma, tragically passing away in 2013. Sergio Vega filled his position up until 2021, playing on three albums – Diamond Eyes, Koi No Yokan and Gore.

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Nick Wells

Nick Wells was the Editor of Bass Guitar magazine from 2009 to 2011, before making strides into the world of Artist Relations with Sheldon Dingwall and Dingwall Guitars. He's also the producer of bass-centric documentaries, Walking the Changes and Beneath the Bassline, as well as Production Manager and Artist Liaison for ScottsBassLessons. In his free time, you'll find him jumping around his bedroom to Kool & The Gang while hammering the life out of his P-Bass.